Gary M. Lanigan, who has more than three decades of experience in the criminal justice and financial management realms, was confirmed as Governor Chris Christie’s choice as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC) on March 22, 2010.
He succeeded George Hayman, whose retirement ended a distinguished career with the NJDOC that dated back to 1983.
"My first order of business is to offer my sincere appreciation to Governor Christie and Lieutenant Governor (Kim) Guadagno for providing me with an opportunity to preside over a department I have admired from afar for so many years," Commissioner Lanigan said shortly after his appointment. "One of my primary goals is to justify the confidence they’ve shown in me through their appointment.
"As we look toward the future, the task before us admittedly is formidable," the Commissioner continued. “Our challenge becomes especially daunting as we strive to maintain and indeed surpass our level of achievement with ever-dwindling resources. Since taking office, Governor Christie has emphasized change. Although difficult at times, I believe change is essential to growth. I have come to think about change for our department in this manner: Challenge Historical Assumptions Nobly Generating Efficiencies (CHANGE). I encourage each of you to embrace this idea as we strive toward fulfilling the charge before us.”
Early in his tenure, Commissioner Lanigan enlisted the services of Chief of Staff Mark Cranston and Deputy Commissioner Mark Farsi.
Utilizing, CHANGE, the department is implementing a performance-based management system to measure and manage the performance of the various institutions in the areas of security, administration, programs, and medical and mental health services. This management tool will ensure that all facilities and units are working cohesively and efficiently to carry out the department’s goals and objectives. Furthermore, CHANGE enables Senior and Executive Staff, as well as administrators and line staff, to closely monitor the performance of an individual facility and the department as a whole.